Joseph Hart: ‘These Blues are Just Like Love’

bluesman“Joseph ‘Slow Dog’ Hart, Knoxville blues singer (1897-1955). He spent most of his years as a street singer, with occasional gigs at house parties and bars. But in 1947 he had an unexpected success from a one-time recording session with Alan Lomax. It was a song of his own composition, ‘These Blues are Just Like Love.’ He scored a regional hit with his version, then it was recorded as a country-and-western number by Tex Ritter, and became a national smash. With the royalties, Hart, who had often lived on the streets where he played, was able to live out his last years in comfort, before his death from liver cancer. ‘These blues are just like love/They keep me thinking of/Your beauty and your body and your touch/These blues are just like love/They got me cooing like a dove/You’re long gone but I still want you oh so much.’ Pencil sketch, digital paint.

art and text ©2019 by Chris Floyd

About Chris Floyd

Tennessee. Moscow. Oxford.
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